Confirmed: SERPs Penalty for Link Sellers
Google has finally put things into print (err, HTML). The recent PageRank slap for link selling is just the beginning. Now, they’re going to gun your blog down from the SERPs.
According to the revised Webmaster Help Center, SEJ points us to this official Google statement:
Some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.
Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:
* Adding a rel=â€nofollowâ€ attribute to the tag
* Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
Google works hard to ensure that it fully discounts links intended to manipulate search engine results, such excessive link exchanges and purchased links that pass PageRank.
I’ve highlighted the part where Google mentions “selling links” and “can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results“.
So, we’re all sure now that it’s not gonna be just your PR that will be affected but your placements in the search results as well. Anybody remembered the -30 and -90 penalty before. Changes to this statement was first spotted by Blogoscoped.
This Google crusade for paid links is just getting crazier than ever. Brace yourselves for the next storm guys. :) Maybe it’s also time to drop AdSense?